Why Solar Panels Are Not Just For Warm And Sunny Days

With a general election coming up, many will be wondering if the government we end up with after July 4th will do more to promote the installation of solar panels on domestic roofs. But you can still have this work done yourself.

That may mean investing your own money, but it can still pay for itself in time by generating some of your own domestic electricity. At the same time, it helps the UK move towards decarbonisation and net zero as more households do this.

However, some will ask whether solar panels really work that well in a cloudy and rainy climate like ours. The answer to that question is yes.

While it is true that cloudy weather with reduced sunlight means panels produce less electricity than they would in the bright light of a sunny day, they are not prevented from working by clouds, or by getting a bit wet. Indeed they will function just as well when the sun comes out after a shower than they would if it has been dry all day.

Moreover, rain can actually perform a useful function, as it helps wash away the accumulation of grime, debris, bird droppings and other muck that would otherwise collect unimpeded on the panels. In doing this, it actually helps the panels collect more light.

Despite government subsidies for renewables ending in 2019, the installation of solar panels and other items like ground source heat pumps reached record levels last year, according to data provided by the Microregeneration Certification Scheme.

In 2023, there were 189,826 installations of solar panels, up 30 per cent from the previous year. This may highlight the desire of many households not to be dependent on outside sources of energy after the price shocks that followed the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Since 2009, 1.4 million households, five per cent of the UK total, have had solar panels installed.